Voice for the Actor (DRA2086)

StaffDr Konstantinos Thomaidis - Lecturer
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level6
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module aims to:

  • Develop critical and professional awareness of issues and practices in the field of theatre and performance
  • Provide a foundation for speaking Shakespeare’s text
  • Explore Greek Tragedy, Restoration Comedy and Samuel Beckett, amongst other genres and playwrights


ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Take a sensitive, imaginative and creative approach to the vocal interpretation of literary texts and to evaluate effectively your own and others' performance
  • 2. Reflect on your own vocal usage in order to develop your skills as a performer/actor
  • 3. Apply speaking and listening skills to the analysis and performance of accent, pitch and resonance; design and implement activities and outcomes for the development of vocal skills appropriate to a given context

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Contribute research to small groups in effective presentations, to evaluate visual evidence and to develop advanced confidence in the ability to analyse, critique and manipulate complex material
  • 5. Relate to others in theatrical processes and performances; to work effectively with others in small task-orientated groups and to initiate and sustain creative, analytic and interpretative work within strict time limits and to solve a number of specific technical problems and apply that understanding to performance work
  • 6. Engage critically and analytically with physical discipline; the development of thoughtful creative processes, understanding of physicalisation in performance and the capacity to articulate that understanding in appropriate ways

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Utilise advanced personal research skills and initiative to set personal objectives that are linked to a sense of challenge and extending boundaries and to identify and evaluate personal learning strategies that are self critical as much as self reflective
  • 8. Demonstrate advanced confidence in performance skills and public presentation, in a variety of situations and/or with a variety of audiences, both of dramatic practice and researched material
  • 9. Demonstrate cooperation skills, including the ability to give and receive constructive critical feedback, and to improve communication skills and advanced analytic abilities in discussions

Syllabus plan

This module is concerned with a disciplined approach to relevant exercises and the application of vocal technique in performance. In order to fully appreciate the complex relationship between the actor and the actor’s voice, this unit will also require students to investigate the interaction of the speech organs and explore how an actor’s whole body influences the quality of voice produced.

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that during the module you will:

  • Regular vocal exercises and other activities that will benefit all aspects of voice production
  • Application of this method to a Shakespeare monologue; a scene and finally a piece of text from the vocal workshop
  • Final assessed performance that reflects the skills acquired over the course of the module
  • As you become more familiar with the theory of voice production and more confident with practical voice work, you will also contribute to the delivery of a voice workshop for the rehearsal of a selected text
  • In addition to the discipline of vocal development exercises, you will test your technique against a variety of texts in order to foster an appreciation of how different vocal tones can suit different styles of text, and how the aesthetic response to text informs considerations of pitch, pace and dynamics
  • You will consider the implications for the voice of the demands of characterisation in a range of texts. The research undertaken for the voice workshop will be analysed in a final research essay


Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching66Staff-led voice workshops
Guided independent study33Students lead workshops based on specific tasks given by module tutor
Guided independent study201Preparation for workshops and performances as well as assigned reading

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Monologue and Scene study10 mins1-3,5,6,8,9Oral, peer and tutor
Vocal Workshop (pair)1 Hour1-9Oral, peer and tutor

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Final performance60Usually 20 minutes1-3, 5, 6, 8, 9Tutor oral and written
Essay402000 words2, 3, 6, 7Tutor written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Final PerformanceWritten reflection 2000 words1,2,3,5,6,8,9Referral/Deferral period
EssayEssay, 2000 words2,3,6,7 Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Barton, J. Playing Shakespeare (London: Methuen, 2009)
  • Berry C. Voice and the Actor (London: Virgin Books, 2000)
  • Carey D. and Clark Carey R. The Vocal Arts Workbook and DVD: A Practical Course for Achieving Clarity and Expression with Your Voice (London: Methuen Drama, 2008)
  • Clifford Turner J. Voice and Speech in the Theatre (London: Methuen Drama, 2007)
  • Hall, P. Shakespeare’s Advice to the Players (London: Oberon, 2009)
  • Linklater, K. Freeing the Natural Voice (London: Nick Hern Books, 2006)
  • Linklater, K. Freeing Shakespeare’s Voice (London: Nick Hern Books, 2010)
  • McCallion M . The Voice Book: for everyone who wants to make the most of their voice (London: Faber and Faber, 1998)
  • Mills J. The Broadcast Voice (Boston: Focal Press, 2004)
  • Rodenburg P. The Actor Speaks: Voice and the Performer (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002)
  • Rodenburg P. The Right to Speak: Working with the Voice (London: Methuen Drama, 1993)

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • International Centre for Voice Studies


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Actor’s Voice, Vocal Technique, Speaking Verse, Interpreting Text, Shakespeare and Voice